We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In Psychiatry today there is much discussion, debate, and confusion about diagnosing the varieties of serious mood or attitudinal instability (ie instability which is life-disrupting in some significant way).
It's not your grandfather's Bipolar Disorder anymore. The numbers of people labelled as "Bipolar spectrum" has increased dramatically, for better or worse, in recent years. It may be "diagnosis creep," or it might be better understanding. A complicating factor is the overlap between Bipolar Spectrum problems and Borderline Personality, discussed here, where flips in attitudes towards relationships (eg idealization and devaluation) can be prominent in both (along with volatility, grandiosity, hypersensitivity, rage and paranoia).
All of this mess can be treated. I have become a fan of Lamictal for mood instability and attitude shifts which do not rise to the level of full-blown Manic-Depression but which are well-outside the normal moods and shifts of daily life. Lamictal plus confrontational psychotherapy, and maybe an antidepressant.
It remains difficult to separate out BPD from PTSD, and the connections to bipolar disorder are indeed intriguing. But our difficulty more often lies in co-occuring substance abuse disorders - each deserves the primary focus as both interfere with any work done on the other. Lamictal is growing in favor at my hospital as well, among the more recently-trained psychiatrists. It used to be a last choice if lithium, valproic acid, or olanzapine were not tolerated, but it is turning out to be a more subtle medication with wider use.
I have mixed feeling about The Angry Heart. I have known BPD's who swear by it, but I get very nervous about folks going fishing in past trauma.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
Anything that helps. Dwelling on the past rarely helps with these things. It's the present that matters.
XRay, you kill me! Ha! You're here because Maggie's is a cool place and it attracts a lot of interesting people. Including you my friend.
It amazes me that professional people would find the time for a blog like Maggie's. It's a big commitment, but this is what they do because they're into it. So I'm not concerned with the particulars...I'm just here because it suits me. But look downrange, boss...I go two responses from people who know! Ain't so bad, eh?
Always good to hear your feedback, XRay. I lost your email in a OS reinstall...drop me a line so I can keep in touch.